SOLID PITCHING LEADS SOFTBALL TO DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP OF NORTHERN COLORADO

SOLID PITCHING LEADS SOFTBALL TO DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP OF NORTHERN COLORADO

Big Sky Conference standings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State pitching combined to allow Northern Colorado just two runs (one earned) and 10 hits with 19 strikeouts in 14 innings in a doubleheader sweep of the Bears on Friday afternoon. Playing in heavy winds throughout the day, the Hornets won the first game, 3-2, before taking the nightcap by a 3-0 score.

The two teams will complete their three-game series tomorrow for a single game at noon. Tomorrow's game will be the final home contest of the season as Sacramento State seniors Nikki Gialketsis, Shelby Johnston, Jessica Ravetti and Taylor Tessier will be honored for their contributions to the program prior to the game.

In the second game victory, junior right-hander Celina Matthias tossed her second shutout of the season, a five-hitter that included no walks and a season-high tying nine strikeouts. She faced just five batters over the minimum and four of her five hits allowed were singles. In the opener, senior right-hander Taylor Tessier allowed just five hits and two runs (one earned) while notching her fourth complete game of the season. She struck out 10 batters, one shy of a career high.

The sweep allowed the Hornets to improve to 17-25-1 overall and 7-9 in the Big Sky Conference. More importantly, Sacramento State moved up in the conference standings as the Hornets now sit in fourth place. With just four games remaining in the regular season, Sacramento State's 7-9 record sits ahead of Northern Colorado (7-10), Portland State (6-10), Idaho State (5-9) and North Dakota (5-10). The top six teams in the eight-member qualify for the Big Sky Tournament, which is May 11-13.

Offensively, Sacramento State got multiple-hit games in both contests from freshman Traci Shaw who combined to go 4-for-6 with two RBIs. Jessica Ravetti combined for three hits and a double.

GAME 2

The Hornets scored single runs in the first, fourth and sixth innings, and rode the arm of Matthias to a 3-0 victory. Matthias threw 112 pitches and lowered her season ERA to 3.37 while walking none and striking out nine batters.

Sacramento State opened the scoring in the first inning when the Hornets strung together three straight two-out singles, the last of which came from Shaw which scored Mo Spieth from third base. The Hornets tacked on one more in the fourth when Zamari Hinton's two-out RBI-single to left field scored Gialketsis. Sacramento State's final tally came on Spieth's sacrifice fly that was caught in foul territory allowing Marissa Maligad to score.

That was more than enough run support for Matthias, who limited Northern Colorado to zero hits in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. In fact, the Bears got runners to third base with one out in the second inning, runners at first and second with two outs in the fourth, a runner at second with two outs in the sixth, and runners at first and second with one out in the seventh. In that seventh inning, with the potential tying run at the plate after back-to-back one-out singles, Matthias got Sophia Taylor to ground out and Adeline Coldiron to strike out to end the game.

Matthias (7-7) got the win while Valerie Vidal (4-6) took the loss, allowing eight hits and three runs (two earned) over six innings. Both Ravetti and Shaw finished the game 2-for-3 while Maligad went 2-for-2.

GAME 1

The Hornets erased a 2-0 deficit with three fifth-inning runs, and hung on for the 3-2 victory. Tessier worked her way out of multiple jams throughout the game, but limited Northern Colorado batters to 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

After the Bears scored single runs in the third and fifth innings to take a 2-0 lead, the Hornets responded with three runs and three hits in the bottom of the fifth while also taking advantage of two errors. In fact, all three runs in the inning were unearned. The first run came on a one-out, RBI-double to the wall by Suzy Brookshire which scored Gialketsis. Brookshire would later come around to score on a throwing error by Northern Colorado catcher Coldiron. With two outs, Shaw had what proved to the game-winning hit, a single to left field which scored Hinton.

With the Hornets leading, 3-2, Northern Colorado's Erica Dick led off the seventh inning with a fly ball that Hornet right fielder Maligad couldn't handle for a three-base error. After Emily Holtz grounded out to a drawn-in infield for the first out, Kaley Garcia blooped a base hit to center field. Dick, who had drifted back towards third base thinking the ball might be caught, broke for home as soon as the ball hit the grass but Hornet center fielder Johnston threw a perfect strike home to nab Dick at the plate. Tessier would then get Jordan Wiatrak to ground out to end the game.

Tessier (5-12) got the win, allowing five hits and two runs (one earned) while walking four and striking out 10 batters. For Northern Colorado, Jayme Reddacliff (10-17) took the loss, allowing three unearned runs and seven hits over six innings.

For the Hornets, both Brookshire (2-for-3 with a run and RBI) and Shaw (2-for-3 with an RBI) had multiple-hit games.

NOTES -- Prior to the game, Sacramento State professor and Director of Debate Kristen Tudor threw out the ceremonial first pitch.